Executive Portrait breakdown

This post is about the thought process that went into making the executive portrait seen in the image below.


I decided that I would go to my subjects’ office to create an authentic work environment.  This meant my subject had to see his office on a Sunday; (thanks again for that)!  Anyway, I went in without scouting ahead of time.  I took about ten minutes to look through and find something simple that stood out to me.  There was a plaque in this conference room with a dull blue backlight that grabbed my attention.


This shot was nice because I had time to build the light up slowly.  I started with a softbox camera right as the main light.  I really liked what it was doing, but knew the shot wasn’t there yet. I then tried to add a kicker coming in, but for some reason it just didn’t feel right.  I went back to the simple main light.  I then added a fill light off the white ceiling to bring up the ambience in the room. By this point the image was looking fairly good, but I felt that I still needed to emphasize the thing that drew me to the room.. That blue plaque. I ended up putting a small portable flash behind the subject with a lot of blue gel on it.  I also gridded the light to focus it right where I wanted it.  I like shots like this because they look very simple, but have a little bit more going on then you would expect.  In the end it’s all about just knowing your lighting so that you can make the most interesting image possible with the area you have.




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